Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier 24 hour sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is a satellite pay TV company and together with Sky Sports it also has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra which are available like a Premium package over the basic Sky Sports. Since its inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played an extremely prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has also been instrumental in making a paradigm shift in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first ones to support and encourage the Premier League to break out from the Football League in 1992.
Sky Sports began as The Sports Channel in March 1990 as Sky Television was lacking a privileged sports channel initially. Sports programs were broadcast sometimes by this channel but rather than introducing a sports channel of their own, Sky Television made a decision to put money into Eurosport. With the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed among its 4 channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television announced a merger in 1990. Initially unveiled as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was relabeled Sky Sports when it was eventually launched in April, 1991 on the SES Astra IB Satellite television. Eurosport terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but continued to be located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly developed into one of the most successful channels in the Sky system. It was from September 1992, that Sky began selling Sky Sports as a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, this was the second channel in the Sky system that was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports started out by broadcasting sports such as golf and rugby, it soon obtained the rights to air Italian and German League Football thereby improving its popularity base.
In 1992/93, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports had become the most favored sports channel following a purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a duration of five years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was overhauled during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, the color displays of the information box, the ticker at the bottom on the screen and also the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were additionally a portion of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and failed to get upgraded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football compared to every other sports. It is perhaps because of this reason why this channel does have a tendency to experience some decrease in viewership during the summers when no football is played.